Advanced Search Map Locator
View Settings
Nurseries Carrying this Plant Add Current Plant To List Edit Current Plant
Show all Photos

Butterflies My Plant Lists Nurseries Planting Guide Contact Calscape About Calscape
Tap map to see plants native to location
Order by Popularity Order by Common Name Order by Scientific Name Order by # of Butterflies Hosted
Show nursery cultivars Hide nursery cultivars
Show plants not in nurseries Hide plants not in nurseries
Grid view Text view
Sierra Redwood
Sequoiadendron giganteum
About Sierra Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum) Nurseries Show All Photos Giant sequoias are the world's largest single trees by volume. Record trees have been measured to be 94.8 m (311 ft) in height and over 17 m (56 ft) in diameter. The oldest known giant sequoia based on ring count is 3,500 years old. Sequoia bark is fibrous, furrowed, and may be 90 cm (3.0 ft) thick at the base of the columnar trunk. It provides significant fire protection for the trees. The leaves are evergreen, awl-shaped,.12-24 inches long, and arranged spirally on the shoots. The seed cones are 1.5-3 inches long and mature in 18-20 months, though they typically remain green and closed for up to 20 years; each cone has 30-50 spirally arranged scales, with several seeds on each scale, giving an average of 230 seeds per cone. The seed is dark brown, (0.16-.20 in long and 0.039 in broad, with a 0.039 in wide, yellow-brown wing along each side. Some seeds are shed when the cone scales shrink during hot weather in late summer, but most are liberated when the cone dries from fire heat or is damaged by insects.

The giant sequoia regenerates by seed. Young trees start to bear cones at the age of 12 years. Trees up to about 20 years old may produce stump sprouts subsequent to injury, but unlike coast redwood, shoots do not form on the stumps of mature trees. Giant sequoias of all ages may sprout from their boles when branches are lost to fire or breakage.

At any given time, a large tree may be expected to have about 11,000 cones. Cone production is greatest in the upper portion of the canopy. A mature giant sequoia has been estimated to disperse 300,000-400,000 seeds per year. The winged seeds may be carried up to 590 ft from the parent tree.
Lower branches die fairly readily from shading, but trees less than 100 years old retain most of their dead branches. Trunks of mature trees in groves are generally free of branches to a height of 66-164 ft, but solitary trees will retain low branches. It tends to grow at elevations from 4600-8400 feet.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
35 - 311 ft (10.7 - 94.8 m)

Max. Width
50 - 60 ft (15.2 - 18.3 m)

Pyramidal, Upright Columnar

Fragrant - Unpleasant

Growth Rate


Flower Color
Green, Cream

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Found in large groves on moist, west facing slopes and mountain valleys along with firs and pines


Elevation ?
957' - 10807'

Annual Precip. ?
13.1" - 80.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.25" - 2.39"

Coldest Month ?
24.0° F - 52.0° F

Hottest Month ?
45.3° F - 79.3° F

Humidity ?
0.92 vpd - 25.50 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers deep, rich soil

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0

Slow, Medium

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Rarely Used

Deep Organic

Pest Control
If stressed or grown under unfavorable conditions it is susceptible to Botryosphaeria ribis, a fungus of trees that causes branch dieback and can be fatal

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment; 1 mo. stratification may improve germination. Store seeds in polyethylene bag in freezer until ready to use. Usually a low percentage viable seeds.

Common uses
Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Big Tree, Bigtree, Giant Sequoia

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

Sign in to your Calscape Account X

Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address

Sign In